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Why Mike Valentine From Florida Man Looks So Familiar

Netflix's "Florida Man" is not only the latest drama from the streamer, but one of its more unique since it draws inspiration from a social media meme. Loosely based on the popular @_FloridaMan Twitter account, the series from creator Donald Todd blends humor with crime while telling a compelling story built around different jokes from its source material.

In summarizing the limited series' themes to Netflix's Tudum, Todd explained, "The brightest sun casts the darkest shadows. So people can hide in shadows. All of that creates an ethos that's perfect for a bright and noirish crime story." His description essentially fits into the Florida Man memes brought to life by diverse actors within the show's original narrative.

In addition to Anthony LaPaglia (Sonny Valentine), Abbey Lee (Delly West), Otmara Marrero (Patsy), and Emory Cohen as Moss Yankov, the series is led by Edgar Ramirez as Mike Valentine, a former police officer who must find a gangster's girlfriend in the Sunshine State. If the actor looks familiar to you, this is likely because you have seen him in a wide range of chameleonic roles since the 2000s.

Here is where you have seen him before.

Edgar Ramirez starred as Paz in The Bourne Ultimatum

Edgar Ramirez started acting in his native Venezuela, where he appeared in soap operas after switching his career from journalism to performing. His first mainstream, international success as an actor came from his supporting performance as the assassin Paz for Operation Blackbriar in the third Jason Bourne film, "The Bourne Ultimatum," in 2007. Although he has limited screen time in the film, his villainous role in the movie stands out.

In a 2007 interview with El Universal, the actor was asked why he found the part of Paz and his experience working on the film to be stimulating. He answered, "It is a character study, of which there are many variables. But Paul Greengrass, the director, always defends the integrity of the movie, and that it has to be as good or better than its predecessors. That is very stimulating."

He then added how it was a fulfilling experience since his discussions with Greengrass and Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) benefited his performance. He brought the same intensity he captured with Paz to his next featured part, as the Greek deity Ares in 2012's "Wrath of the Titans." But his next significant role would find the actor portraying the passionate fashion designer Gianni Versace in Ryan Murphy's "American Crime Story" series. 

He portrayed Gianni Versace in American Crime Story

2018's controversial "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" was the second installment of the hit true crime anthology series, focusing on the doomed designer's murder at the hands of Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). Edgar Ramirez played the title role, changing his appearance and accent to capture the Italian fashion mogul's mannerisms and demeanor accurately. His work earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie.

In a 2018 interview with Collider, Ramirez was asked what the appeal was for joining the project. He replied, "Gianni was a disrupter. I have a very strong attraction to characters that somehow consciously or unconsciously change history, and that was the case with Gianni. He changed the time that he lived in and had a huge impact on culture."

He concluded by discussing Versace's influence on how the notions of fame, celebrity, and fashion in the 21st century have changed in the wake of his untimely death. The role was searingly dramatic, but the "Carlos" star's next lead performance would see him break into the sphere of family comedies.

Ramirez played the Torres family patriarch in Yes Day

The 2021 Netflix comedy film "Yes Day" is about a fictional holiday in which parents cannot say no to their children. The feature focused on the Torres family, led by Carlos and Allison, played respectively by Edgar Ramirez and Jennifer Garner. The movie follows both parents as they fall prey to the whims of their kids' demands on the dreaded day when they must say yes to everything.

Ramirez's portrayal was a change of pace from his career up to that point in genre parts and dramatic biographical performances. When a reporter for LRM Online congratulated him on his family film debut and his willingness to say yes to it, he humorously commented, "Yes. I say yes to everything. I said yes to comedy. I said yes to family film, and I'm very happy; I couldn't be happier. It was an amazing experience. I'm so grateful to Jennifer Garner and [director] Miguel Arteta who invited me to do this."

He then added that it would have been challenging to say no to them and praised his co-star and all the actors who portrayed their children in the movie. Although the feature was a light-hearted departure for Edgar Ramirez, he would soon return to drama on HBO.

Edgar Ramirez was Detective Joe Mendoza on The Undoing

HBO's 2020 limited series "The Undoing" is a murder mystery that features several heavy themes, including the disintegration of a marriage, the divide between social hierarchies, and the deceptive appearances that anyone could present to others. It revolves around the murder of Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis), with a psychotherapist and oncologist (Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant) becoming the primary suspects.

Edgar Ramirez played the supporting character Detective Joe Mendoza, and he revealed to Collider that the part was easy for him to relate to. "I'm very inquisitive," he said. "I'm a journalist. That's what I did before I became an actor, so I relate to the inquisitive element that my character Joe Mendoza has, along with the obsession with searching for the truth." The actor added that the part and the series take audiences on a journey of questioning how well we truly know the people in our lives.

In a career filled with versatile acting parts, the chameleonic Edgar Ramirez excels at presenting the multi-faceted nature of human beings.